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In my last post about my own photography, I told you all that I have spent the last year really focusing on seeing the light. I set out to really watch where the light is coming from, where it is falling, how strong is it, what color is it...and many more questions. Many, many, many times I just observed, without my camera. I wanted to become a master of the light in the same way that we attempt to become masters of our equipment. The equipment is only a piece of metal and plastic that allows us to capture the light. Sometimes you have to sit back and drink it all in. You have to watch without trying to capture the moment. I feel like over the last year of truly focusing on the light I have nearly mastered it.
"Ask yourself, where the light is coming from, where it is falling, how strong it is, and what colors can you see"
This year, I have decided to focus on perspective. Sometimes, the best pictures are the ones where the subject is not looking directly at you and smiling. For instance, my dogs look out the window every evening, waiting for my husband to come home. With my eye newly trained on perspective, I would take a picture from behind them to capture what it looks like from their perspective. Here is an example of a composite I did last week.
I took three separate images (because life just doesn't happen like this in my house) of these three looking out the window waiting for Daddy to get home. I used the Absence Collection (Actions) and Light Bokeh (Overlays) for the lights.
This year I really want to focus on mastering perspective, it truly makes images much more interesting and ultimately better quality.
In the image above of my 14 year old cocker spaniel, I got down really low and photographed him on his level, head on, and centered. You can see how I achieved the dark, moody, edit below in the video tutorial using the Absence Collection and Moveable Haze from Spring IV.
As I mentioned in my 5 for $5.00 post about Spring V, I have been a little absent from my usual daily blogging here at MLC. My sweet girl is back in preschool and so I am finding a little more time to get back to work.
Today I have a video for you on how to remove a common lens distortion called vignetting. We all know about vignetting because at times we add it to our images to draw focus toward our subject. While this kind of vignetting is a creative license we all take from time to time, there is a darker side (no pun intended...hardy har har) to vignetting.
Generally this kind of distortion occurs with lower level lenses, but that isn't always the case. Take my image for example, it was taken using a Canon 5d Mark III and a mid-range 85mm prime lens. You can see the edges are considerably darkened.
While it wasn't immediately apparent to me, once I ran the new (free) Correct Camera Distortion Action I am releasing today, I noticed a big improvement. I rarely notice the vignetting problem unless it is overcast outside and I am underexposing the image.
Watch Me Fix It!
FREE PHOTOSHOP ACTION
Choose Image>Canvas Size from the Menu at the top of the screen.
For my purposes, I want to extend my canvas to the right, I click on the left side of the Anchor box to push the canvas extension to the right. Make sure you click on the opposite of what you want to do. If you want to extend down, click the top of the box. If you want to extend left, make sure you click the right side of the box.
I want to change my dimensions to be double the original width. I multiplied the existing pixels by two, and typed the numbers in the box. Click Ok, and the canvas will expand.
This is the original size of my image. It is displayed in inches, but I want to see the dimensions in pixels.
Change your dimensions to pixels by clicking the box to the right of the height and width field and selecting pixels.
Pictured, Quick Selection Tool
Using the Quick Selection Tool (pictured left) with the + selected at the top of the screen, begin to select the area you would like to keep by clicking the area and dragging the mouse. If you have gone too far, select the - at the top of the screen and repeat the same clicking and dragging motion. Continue to use the + and - until the area you have selected is correct.
If your layer mask is white, you will need to use a black brush on it. If your layer mask is black, you will need to use a white brush on it. Think opposites. The picture to the left shows the brush tool highlighted. If you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see two squares, one is blue, one is white.
This is known as the foreground and background colors. The square on top is the foreground color, and the square at the back is the background color. When you are working with layer masks your foreground and background colors should be set to the default provided by Photoshop. Black and white. If yours is a different color, as pictured below click the little squares at the top right just above the big squares. This will set it back to the default.
In the image above you can see that the white layer mask is not selected. You will need to select the white layer mask by clicking on it. When it is selected, it will look like the image to the left.
Make sure that you set your brush opacity by using the slider to move the percentage between 0 and 100 percent. The lower the brush opacity, the less of the effect you will remove.
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